The Problem with Technology and Being Connected

I’ve got a problem.

I can’t seem to read or write any more.
Specifically, I can’t seem to read or write or create for pleasure any more.

And I blame technology.

Take this morning, for example. While it is the first day in ages that I could sleep in, instead I find myself up at 5 a.m. The eldest ice princess DID have a six a.m. Ice time, and the hubs was getting up to go hunting, but as they head out the door, I think, what a great time to finish that other Giller book.
The book is on the iPad, and on the iPad as well is Twitter, home of #satchat. And I can’t resist.
The delicious topic of conversation this week is How to Leverage Negativity in our schools, and as a curriculum technology teacher it’s in my work every single day… Admittedly, it’s also part of my mindset more often these days too. So, with questions like “How do you deal with negative thinkers in your staff?” Responses such as these are elicited:

photo 1

photo 2  photo 3photo 4

Which leads to great fast-paced thoughtful discussion, brilliant revelations, and a beautiful lead-in for the final question, How do you know when to get out?

Now let me just say, I have never, to my knowledge, been described as a Negative Nelly. My general tendency seems to be generally positive. So when I hear educational leaders describing their best practices in leading in a positive way to generate positivity, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m all ears and picking up pro tips every step of the way. This last question sort of came as a curve ball. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’ve found myself struggling this past month or so. The work is hard. I’ve never steered away from hard work. The challenges are great. I love to be challenged. There is awareness and a move toward much improved and increased understanding of our needs and areas for improvement… So why do I feel negativity creeping in? Why am I thinking about getting out?

These are big questions at 5-now-6-now 7 o’clock Saturday morning. And especially surprising when the discussion about negativity is bringing such a tone of POSITIVITY to the community.

So following #satchat I did what I often do, make a cup of tea and browse through the discussion, check my emails, check out Facebook, and reach for one of four books on my table. This morning’s pick was a dog-eared copy of Leaders Make it Happen, followed by a serving of The Art of Focused Conversation for Schools. Both are being used to direct my thinking on system change, and both have been sources in our PLC and area work. Both, too, connected to our Twitter chat. And to the work we did on Friday as a tech team.

I used to fall asleep reading professional resources.
Now they seem to fire every neuron in my head.

I’ve come to realize…

 this IS my reading for pleasure

 this IS my writing for fun.

this  IS creating.

And perhaps most significantly, this IS my critical thinking. It’s part of our collective journey, for sure, but I think for me, begrudgedly, I have come to realize that I can’t possibly embrace the full movement forward without accepting the reality that negativity is necessary. It challenges our work. It challenges my thinking. It amazes and scares me, and sometimes makes me want to bang my head against the wall… When we are in a good space ourselves, negativity can be much more easily deflected. When we allow ourselves to get worn down, negativity can seep in from many sources (our self, situational, and from others).

So I will come back to these #satchat gems. I’ll continue to align our work and our challenges and resources and my various notes and Tweets and post-its. And perhaps most importantly, I’ll accept the negativity as a gift. My own Growth Mindset cannot be fuelled otherwise.


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